COVID-19 FAQ for BCGEU members covered by the Main Public Service Agreement
I have COVID-19 and I think I contracted it while at work. What do I do?
If you suspect you were exposed and infected with COVID-19 due to the nature of your employment, you may be eligible to claim compensation for wage loss. Here’s what to do:
Be sure you meet the conditions set out by WorkSafeBC to make a wage loss compensation claim:
- Evidence, either a medical diagnosis in a medical report or a non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.
- The nature of your work created a risk of contracting the disease that is significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the general public (example: an acute care hospital worker who is treating patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19)
- You lose time from work after contracting the virus.
- If you meet the above conditions, file an application for workers’ compensation with WorkSafeBC here, like you would with any other workplace injury or disease. Your application must be made by you - the worker - and not by your employer on your behalf. Because adjudication of claims takes time, it’s best to apply as soon as possible.
- At the same time, claim Short Term Illness and Injury Plan (STIIP). STIIP will ensure your income doesn’t cease altogether while waiting for your WorkSafeBC claim to be adjudicated.
- If your COVID-related disability lasts past the STIIP period, file a claim for Long Term Disability (LTD) to ensure your benefits and pension contributions continue (which your WorkSafeBC alone cannot ensure).
- If you are self-isolating, in quarantine or have been sent home on a precautionary basis, WorkSafeBC will NOT provide you with wage loss compensation -- these measures are considered “preventative” and WorkSafeBC does not compensate for preventative reasons.
- Both the B.C. and Canadian governments have announced financial aid packages for people who are financially affected by the COVID-19 situation. We do not yet know how these measures will interact with any existing benefits schemes.
For more information, visit WorkSafeBC’s website or contact your workplace OHS representative, steward or the BCGEU staff representative assigned to your workplace.
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